Sunday, November 18, 2007

Megan Meier

I'm not a proponent of My Space. I think there's entirely too much that can go wrong. You put a bunch of people in a room face to face, generally speaking, some of them will be asses, but they won't say too many terrible things to each other. It's much harder to look someone in the eye and say something cruel to them. But, put those people on the phone together and the situation becomes a lot less personal. People say things on the phone they would never dream of saying on the phone. For instance, when I was 18 (a few weeks ago. No, really!) a guy called my house in the middle of the afternoon, my middle of the night, only to realize he has woken me up. It's a wrong number, but instead of saying "oops, sorry" he says "So what are you wearing?" Creep.
Any way, back to the point.
Communicating on the Internet is so impersonal that people will do really nasty things to each other, say terrible things to and about each other. My girls will never have a My Space account.

Look at this . A lot went wrong there, but basically a mother wanted to know what another girl was saying about her daughter. So she created a My Space account, as a teenage boy, and flirted with this girl, then "broke it off" with her saying she was mean.

There are so many things wrong here. I'm sure I don't know all the parts to this story, but it sounds like there is a lot more to it. And the Foosball table? That would have just been the beginning of it for me if I'd found out that some woman, a friend of mine, had created such a terrible situation in my life.


Erica said...

The parents, and other peeps, behind the party that created the fictitious Josh Evans need to have the f**king shit kicked out of them, and spare them only within a nosehair of their lives.

I read that story about a week or so ago and it disgusted and horrified me that grown adults could be so awful to an impressionable, sensitive, overweight teenager.

Seriously, I'd love to kick the dogshit out of them myself.

Danny Vice said...

On Wednesday, October 21st, city officials enacted an ordinance designed to address the public outcry for justice in the Megan Meier tragedy. The six member Board of Aldermen made Internet harassment a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail.

Does this new law provide any justice for Megan? Does this law provide equitable relief for a future victim or actually weaken the current law?

I reject the premise of this new law and believe it completely misses the mark. The reasoning behind this opinion is that city officials have consistently treated this case as an Internet harassment case instead of a child welfare/exploitation case.

Classifying this case a harassment issue completely fails to address the most serious aspects of the methods Lori Drew employed to lead this youth to her demise. The Vice disagrees that harassment was even a factor in this case until just a couple of days before Megan's death.

Considering this case a harassment issue is incorrect because during the 5 weeks Lori Drew baited and groomed her victim, the attention was NOT unwanted attention. It was not harassment at all. It was invited attention. Megan participated in the conversations willingly because she was lured, manipulated and exploited without her knowledge.

This law willfully sets a precedent that future child exploiters and predators can use to reclassify their cases to harassment issues. In effect, the law enacted to give Megan justice, may make her even more vulnerable. So long as the child victim doesn't tell the predator to stop, even a harassment charge may not stick with the right circumstances and a good defender.

Every aspect of this case follows the same procedural requirement used to convict a Child Predator. A child was manipulated by an adult. A child was engaged in sexually explicit conversation (as acknowledged by Lori Drew herself). An adult imposed her will on a child by misleading her, using a profile designed to sexually or intimately attract the 13 year old Megan.

Lori then utilized the power she had gained over this child to cause significant distress and endangerment to that child. She even stipulated to many of these activities in the police report she filed shortly after Megan's death.

We can go on and on here, but the parallels between this case and many other child predator cases that are successfully prosecuted bear striking similarities.

Child Predator laws do not require much more than simply proving that an adult has engaged a minor in sexually explicit conversation. Lori Drew has already stipulated that her conversations with Megan were sometimes sexual for a child Megan's age.

City officials who continue to ignore this viable, documented admission and continue to address this issue as harassment are intentionally burying their heads in the sand, when the solution is staring them right in the face. Why?

On June 5th, 2006, Governor Matt Blunt signed into law stiff penalties for convicted sex offenders. The Vice believes that officials continually reject a child predator classification of this case in order to keep the penalty of this offense out of this harsher realm.

Opponents of this law are active in defeating this law not by changing it, but by disqualifying cases like Megan's from ever being heard.

There are several other child exploitation laws on the books. To date, none of them have even been considered by City, State and Federal officials in this case. I'm outraged that a motion was never even filed, so that the case could at least be argued before a judge or jury.

Those satisfied with this response out of Missouri officials need to think through the effect this law will truly have. It quite honestly has the potential to directly undermine Jessica's law. It quiet easily gives prosecutors a way out of prosecuting child endangerment and child predator cases in the future.

Beware the wolf in sheep's clothing here.

Danny Vice